Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Solving Problems not Symptoms

By Dwayne Deskins
Reaching People for Jesus: Building teams, building community, building His church! It’s what we do; it’s what we said YES to when we heard His voice calling! Do you remember when it became clear in you? When you stepped over the line, made the decision “I’ll preach the gospel for you Jesus.”? Then we began serving, ministering, leading...

One of the lessons I learned early on was that I needed to love people and that people fail. I also learned that building a loving, nurturing, trusting environment was what produced amazing disciples!

Booker T. Washington said, “Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.”

Trust. It’s so absolutely essential to a healthy culture.

Patrick Lencioni, in his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, lists Mistrust as the first dysfunction. Mistrust causes a team to fight within, to one-eye each other and not see or believe the best in the other person.

Jesus saw the best, spoke to the best in people, and yet knew people could, and would, fail. Yet He trusted.

If we aren’t careful we can find ourselves solving symptoms and not problems. We can work and work trying to resolve relationship issues when the real issues are deeper and keep surfacing.

I have found that if I don’t get the root of a dandelion, it will come back every time. It’s not what I see in my yard that is the problem—it’s what’s lurking beneath the ground. Get the root, get the problem.

At one of our sessions in Dallas at our General Headquarters last month, I mentioned that one of the root problems in the PCG is MISTRUST. I felt like I was stepping out on a limb, unsure of how people would feel or respond. What amazed me was that my statement was met with a unanimous agreement. We have a culture that does not promote, nurture, nor affirm the best in people. We have an issue of mistrust.

How did it get into our culture? Was there a cause, an event, or...?

Several possible reasons come to mind:
  1. It’s the culture of “normal” that we grew up in and, therefore, by default, are living in. If we don’t change, we will hand it off to the next generation.

  2. We trusted people early on in ministry but then we were burned by one or two or maybe even three, and we have allowed it to taint our heart-view of all future relationships.

  3. We ourselves have lived in such a way as to not deserve trust. Maybe we weren’t forthright in some dealings with people, or maybe we garnered support for a position or a job in a way that dishonored others, and now we are transposing our own issues onto others in a way that hinders the goal we have in mind for Jesus.
Whatever the reason, we have a cultural issue of “not trusting” that we must deal with so that we can finish well. We must first recognize it, then really want to change it, or all will remain as it was before.

Where do you think you are in trusting others 1-10 (10 being “I trust people automatically until they give me a reason not to trust them”)?

How do we make such a change individually if, in fact, we really want to?

How do we shape a different culture for the next generation?

Let me know your thoughts.